Tesla Model 3 workers got free Red Bull, walked through sewage: report

To meet Model 3 quotas, Tesla factory workers were provided free Red Bull to stay awake and instructed to walk through raw sewage to avoid interrupting production, according to a new Bloomberg Businessweek report.

Reports of harsh conditions and intense pressure continue to emerge from the Fremont, California factory, which CNBC previously reported has suffered several fires as the company raced to meet self-imposed production targets. The latest details are some of the most jarring and could raise questions of violations of factory workers’ rights.

Unnamed employees told Businessweek the factory provided free Red Bull energy drinks to battle exhaustion, fueling a zombie-like trance they called the “Tesla stare.” Employees were also told to walk through raw sewage that had spilled on the factory floor in order to “keep the line going,” Businessweek reports.

Tesla told the business outlet it wasn’t aware of such instructions. The company didn’t immediately respond to request from CNBC.

Businessweek reports Tesla’s factory troubles began long before Model 3 production.

In one supposed incident in late 2016, a factory worker had his leg amputated after being struck by a forklift outside the main building, according to Businessweek. The driver of the forklift had been doing doughnuts, and has since been fired, the company told Businessweek. The incident was formally reported to state authorities as an “ankle fracture.”

Read the full details of Tesla’s production push at Bloomberg Businessweek.

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